This is an earnest, reasonably well-directed film with a clumsily structured script. It jumps around between different periods of J. Edgar Hoover’s life so often that it never manages to create any momentum in the story it’s trying to tell, the portrait it’s trying to paint.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance as J. Edgar Hoover has its moments, but he seems to be hamstrung by the thick accent he adopts, which for some reason is thicker than the real Hoover’s accent.


Hoover’s very bizarre personal life is presented with compassion, without glossing over anything. It’s hard to understand why anyone wanted to make this film, except to garner Academy Award attention, but it basically lacks the juice to compel any kind of attention at all.

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